Just like me, you may also be wondering if you learned all these foreign languages in vain when you frequently hear the news saying that there won’t be any need to acquire any foreign languages in 5 years. In this article, as a linguist, I want to cover the explanations of some scientists’ endeavors to constantly get rid of social sciences. I think people who say ‘’there won’t be any need to acquire any foreign languages in 5 years” are the people who consider foreign language as ‘’a means of communication’.”
I’ve seen so many people who say ‘’Even if I go abroad, I could handle anything by Google-Translate program which is right in my pocket.’’ What we are missing on that exact point is that foreign language acquisition is so much more than just communicating.
According to Elon Musk, one of the geniuses of the century, a Neuralink device will be connected to the human brain for the first time in the next year and accordingly, a battery-powered chip will be placed into the human skull and electrodes will be able to be sent to the human brain. According to Musk, it may not even be necessary to speak in 5 years. But I’m thinking, the vaccine for COVID-19 has been tried to be found since December 2019. It will be almost 1 year now. Even if it is found right now, it is estimated that it will take a few years for such an important vaccine to be delivered to the whole world. Furthermore, it does not even seem likely that this method will be widely used after 5 years.
Let’s say the human brain is connected to the computer and you can download the foreign language program you want to communicate with into your brain, so your dreams, that’s to say, ”If only I had a chip attached to me so I could speak a foreign language” is coming true. So what will happen to our argument that “knowledge is the greatest wealth”? I am writing as a linguist who is well aware of the difficulties you face in your foreign language acquisition process. I know that you want your foreign language acquisition, which has become a drama due to wrong methods for many years, to arrive at conclusion with a miracle.
In fact, due to some mistakes in the education system of our country for many years, we overlook the fact that the main point is that being in the struggle for trying to acquire a language comes off as difficult rather than acquiring a language does. Although all of you are thought to know English at least a little because of the foreign language lessons in the curriculum that has existed since primary school in our country, we know very well that a certain generation is quite french to the foreign language which they had covered.
-They were not told that a foreign language would improve their multiple thinking skills.
-It was not said that they could develop their brains logically and structurally.
-They didn’t realize that they could strengthen their native language.
-They didn’t know they could improve their skills of concentration.
-They couldn’t learn that it increases their ability to learn faster.
-Nobody told them that they could become more creative individuals when they acquire different languages.
-It was also an effort to understand other worlds and increase their self-confidence, but instead of starting the lessons with this attitude, having known all these things listed above, they started it with the simple present tense. As a result, unfortunately, we came across a generation who said they wish if only they had a chip placed to their brains because they do not know what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Language is not only about words and vocabulary. Languages have their own cultures. For instance, locals in Australia do not say hello when they greet each other, they ask each other ‘’where are you headed’’ and they could answer northeast without a pause or stall. Another example, the word ‘’bridge’’ is used as masculine and feminine. While Germans describe a bridge they do it with adjectives such as ‘’strong’’ and ‘’enduring’’, the French prefer to describe it with adjectives such as ‘’elegant’’ and ‘’beautiful’’. Namely, languages are not all about words but about thoughts and the flow.
It is also impossible to understand a word of which there is no visual equivalance in your brain while acquiring languages. I.e when you tell crown prince to someone whose native language is Turkish, s/he will immediately think of Ottoman Empire. When you tell ‘’Winter is coming’’ to someone whose native language is English, s/he will think og Game of Thrones series. In short, language means history, language means art at as well.
As can be seen from the examples I’ve given above, among the skills people do not have innate, the last thing people can acquire through chip is ‘’language’’. Above all, people may want to acquire things like history, geography, art, general culture, economics, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering through a chip. Only after that acquiring a different language can be of real benefit. When the world changes into such a situation, jobs won’t have any meaning left anymore, even universities will be reduced down to 4 minutes from 4 years then.
The conclusive point in here is; the one who controls the behavior and movements of the people who got chip attached to their brains will be the one whoever is the admin of the system. I don’t think we could let this happen not in 5 years nor till the end of our lives. At least, I don’t intend to hand over the control of my brain to someone else. 🙂